If you are not a U.S. citizen but are highly skilled and looking to come work in Illinois, Wisconsin or another part of the country, you may be able to do so by obtaining what is known as an employment-based visa. We at the Francis Law Center have counseled many foreign nationals who are interested in pursuing this type of visa.  

Different types of employment-based visas exist for different types of professionals, but if you meet certain, predetermined criteria, you may be able to try and secure the First Preference EB-1 Visa. For example, you may be eligible for this type of visa if you have an extraordinary ability and have received considerable national or international accolades because of it. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services outlines ten criteria that indicate extraordinary ability, and at least three of them must apply to you in order for you to move forward in your pursuit of this type of visa.

You may, to, be able to pursue a First Preference EB-1 Visa if you are a highly skilled professor or researcher. To do so, you must meet at least two out of six predetermined guidelines outlined by USCIS, be planning to research or teach in the U.S. and be internationally recognized for your achievements in a particular industry or field. You may also be able to secure the First Preference EB-1 Visa if you are a multinational executive or manager and have an employer petitioning on your behalf, in addition to meeting other criteria.

The process for applying for a First Preference EB-1 Visa entails multiple steps, and you should expect to have to produce considerable documentation to apply. Simply producing the required documentation and evidence of your extraordinary ability does not guarantee that your visa will be approved, however. Rather, it gives USCIS the material it needs to decide whether you do, in fact, have an extraordinary ability or highly specialized skill, and if so, whether it warrants a First Preference EB-1 Visa.

This information about preferential visas is intended to be educational, but it is not meant to constitute legal advice.